Editors Guild of India webinar disrupted by unknown persons


PTI, Feb 13, 2021, 3:47 PM IST

Credit: iStock Photo

New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India on Saturday said its virtual webinar on reporting challenges from Naxal areas was subjected to relentless attacks and disruptions by unknown persons.

Calling the incident shocking, the Guild said it had organised the webinar as part of its series ”Unheard Voices: Reporting from Conflict Zones” and its speakers included some of the most seasoned Indian journalists who have been reporting from Naxal areas.

Within a few minutes since the start of the webinar, some of the participants started posting frivolous song videos, the Guild said in a statement.

“The meeting host tried shutting down the window of each such guest, but the number of such disruptors kept on increasing. Soon, some of them started posting obscene messages on group chat as well as shared screens with pornographic content and abusive language. Eventually, the meeting had to be ended without even one of the guest speakers getting a chance to speak,” it said.

Calling it a blatant attack on the freedom of speech, the Guild demanded that the Cyber Crime Cell investigate this violation.

“The Guild is shocked and disturbed by this unprecedented attack by those who clearly did not want the speakers’ voices to be heard. Naxal infested areas have been subjected to some of the most horrifying and gruesome instances of state excesses. The webinar speakers have been at the forefront of chronicling the conflict and the human rights abuses over the last few decades,” it noted.

The Guild said it sees this as a blatant attack on the freedom of speech. It demanded that the Cyber Crime Cell investigate this attack on free speech and book the guilty.

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